Written by: Jessica Love
Published: March 1, 2016 by St. Martin's Press (Macmillan)
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.
There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.
Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.
Hannah's surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.
*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***
In my desire to break out of my comfort zone and read more contemporaries I came across this book. It sounded cute and fun so I grabbed a copy. In fact it was a cute and fluffy contemporary that was a good palette cleanser between the more action-packed fantasy reads I usually have on my nightstand.
But I didn't totally love the characterizations. The characters on the whole were fine. Hannah was likeable enough. I appreciated her awkwardness and uncertainty as she her final year of high school was winding down. It felt honest and realistic. But her lack of communication felt grating at times and being in her head made me want to shake her and tell her to just use her words. And while I understand why she was hesitant, it got old fast. And her development, while good, felt forced.The metaphor for her realization at the end was the most literal and loosely veiled thing I have read in a long time. And the rest of the characters felt like a bit one note. Nick, the romantic lead and virtual BFF was sweet and fun but I didn't quite get the "alternative" vibe from him, although that was actually kind of nice and made him less of a stereotype unlike some of the other band members. Hannah's friend Lo was nice but not super memorable and the same can be said for her sister. They didn't get a lot of screen time and that may have hurt them. Maybe I'm becoming more of a character-driven reader but usually the characters don't bother me as much but here it didn't work.
On the whole this was a fast and fun book that was good break between the serious and emotional fantasy and historical fiction reads that I have been reading lately. It had an interesting and engaging plot and great relationships despite characters that didn't quite jump off the page.
I give In Real Life by Jessica Love an 8 out of 10
Have you read In Real Life? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!